Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Children, burden or blessing?

Today is a special day to me. I am remembering 2 years ago when I was contracting every 5 minutes and wondering if I had overdone it. I went to bed February 28th still contracting although the spacing had let up to every ten minutes. I woke on February 29th,2004 (yes it was leap year) hemorraging and believing that my precious daughter had entered eternity. To my great joy, when we arrived at the hospital, I heard her heartbeat on the monitor and shortly saw her squirming on the ultrasound. A few hours later, she was born, 10:35am, by emergency c-section. I did not get to see her for two more days. However, I was grateful that day that my baby was alive!!!

Here is Lillian, out of her "extra special" home, the isollette, and in clothes given to her by Great Grandma Donna.

Now, two years later we are rejoicing that she is healthy, beautiful, and happy as a two year old!!! I can't believe it. The first six and a half weeks were such a rollercoster of emotions, me recovering and struggling with high blood pressure and Lillian in the hospital fighting (quite strongly) for her life. And now we happily enjoy her and are excited to look forward to another child due this fall.

I must admit that this morning didn't start out well. I have struggled so much with negativity in my life. I really get angry when people complain about my children and refer to them as burdens. I can't even begin to count the times that I hear, "You can't do ..... because of your girls" or "If I had to deal with your kids, I would lose it" or other hurtful comments like that. After the initial anger passes I begin to evaluate why these comments are made. Now I know I am NOT a perfect parent and I am praying and beseeching the Lord for my children's salvation and for them to grow to be like Him inspite of my sinfulness. But I really don't believe that those comments are meant for my children alone, but for children in general. For that is the world's mindset. Children interfere with "our" desires and the things that "I" may want to do. The feminist mindset is such: "pursue your dreams and goals...why bother wasting your mind on such a mindless and dead-end job like mothering". That, I believe is one of the greatest reasons that children are seen as a hinderance...thanks to the feminist's mindset...which really is a sinful mindset begun in the Garden of Eden with Eve.
The only way that mindest can be eradicated is with the Word of God. We must ask the Lord to change our minds and transform them into His mind. We need to develope a Biblical mindset to counter the ever present and sometimes dominating views and ideas of the world. So, I want to mention some verses that have helped to "transform" my mind in the last few years.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, and the fruit of the womb a
reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's
youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be
put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5

The psalmist here is talking about the Lord building the home and watching the city. It is vain to do anything without Him being the one orchestrating and watching over it. And then, the psalmist goes on to talk about children being the heritage God gives one. Nothing can we take out of this world outside of the souls of men and our children are a great responsibility and blessing that we can take with us to eternity. I have always liked that it says "like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth" because haveing children at a young age is like haveing arrows for battle. How awesome of a picture is that?! Children can be our greatest assets in this thing called life. And that is what a man (and his wife)are blessed with.

"Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! You shall eat
the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be
well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus
shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD." Psalm 128:1-4

This passage is talking about the ones who fear the Lord and follow Him. This is how they are blessed: with a fruitful wife (in those days children were also considered among the wealth of a man. Barrenness was often thought of as a curse in those days.) and children like olive shoots (referring to a good number...which there is no set "number"). That is how the man who fears the Lord will be blessed. Not only that, but the psalm concludes with a blessing for that person to see their children's children (vs. 6). So even seeing your Grand-children is a great blessing from the LORD.

I could continue with many more, but I am going to have to stop here. Children are a GREAT blessing from the Lord, and if children are viewed as an inconvienience and a burden and a hinderance to what "one" wants to do, then it is to that persons's shame. As for me, I want to daily have my mindset changed and instead of being irritated at my children for any "inconvienience" thay may cause me, rejoice in them as the blessing and heritage they are from the LORD.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ultrasound Tomorrow Morning~ Updated

Please pray for me as tomorrow morning I am having another ultrasound done. I am really hoping that things will be good, but I must be still and let God do His work in my life as well as in the life of this child He has blessed us with.

" Glory in His holy name; let the hears of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
Seek the LORD and his strength; seek His presence continually" ~Ps. 105:3-4

Update: Ultrasound went good. Our baby measured right on for 8 weeks and the heartbeat was 154! I am so glad everything went well...and I am looking forward to seeing how this pregnancy continues to progress. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Not My Will

I don't know if you have ever read the old book entitled "Not My Will"
by Francena Arnold. It is an absolutely powerful book about the folly of us trying to run our own lives instead of submitting to God and seeking to Glorify and Please Him. I haven't read the book all that recently, but I can remember staying up until 2 am reading it and weeping my eyes out. It is an incredible book and a great reminder. If you haven't read it, I encourage you to pick it up and read it some time.
The reason I am thinking and talking about this book is because I sit here tonight thinking of the things that I would love to control and have go according to "my plan" that are not. Now, I have learned alot about surrendering in the past few months and would even like to think I'm getting it, but every single day, the LORD is showing me again....I DON'T!
This week I had an ultrasound for my current pregnancy. I was going in thinking that I was 6wks 4 days to find out I am only 6 weeks and we didn't get to see a heartbeat. I was, needless to say, dissappointed. I wanted the encouragement that everything is going good. Instead, I must be patient and wait 2 weeks for another ultrasound. Now, my first response was...this is ridiculous. Why am I again struggleing with this idea of surrendering to God's will and plan when dealing with Nathan's death was so much easier it seemed. However, I see that it is because that was over...this is continuing...and I am desparately longing to hold and meet this child. I have loved each of my children, but I am so fearful that the LORD just might say "Not this time" once again.
Jesus Himself, being completely human and completely God, struggled with going to the cross. And yet in His struggleing, He proclaimed, not publicly but in prayer to His Father, "Not my will, but Thine be done." I am not God. I am completely human in everyway. But the same Spirit that resided in Christ, resides in me, helping me to become more like HIM!!!! So as I sit here, fearful of the future and struggling with my thoughts, I desire to say, "Not my will."
Lord, teach me to follow you and surrender each situation to Your hand, not asking for answers, but knowing that You truly know what I need so much better than I. Help me to bring you honor and glory in this pregnancy and each day that I am able to live by Your grace.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hymn Focus for my Pregnancy

A week ago, I was in Michigan and was blessed by the Special Music that morning in the church I grew up in. My cousins did an excellent rendition of "Alleluia" with "All that Thrills My Soul". As I sat listening to the beautiful music and listened to the lyrics, it was almost like the LORD was prompting me and saying, "This is what I want you to focus on during your pregnancy. I desire to thrill your soul and life...even more than this child that I am blessing you with."
So, at the Lord's stirring, I am seeking to meditate on His word and this hymn specifically during my current pregnancy.

All that Thrills my Soul by Thoro Harris

vs. 1: Who can cheer the heart like Jesus, By His presence all divine?
True and tender, pure and precious, O how blest to call Him mine!

Refrain: All that thrills my soul is Jesus, He is more than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand In my blessed Lord I see.

vs. 2: Love of Christ so freely given, Grace of God beyond degree,
Mercy higher than the heaven, Deeper than the deepest sea!

vs. 3: What a wonderful redemption! Never can a mortal know
How my sin, though red like crimson, Can be whiter than the snow.

vs. 4: Every need His hand supplying, Every good in Him I see;
On His strength divine relying, He is all in all to me.

vs. 5: By the crystal flowing river With the ransomed i will sing,
And forever and forever Praise and glorify the King!

Refrain: All that thrills my soul is Jesus He ismore than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand in my blessed Lord I see.

It is my prayer that my Lord will be my desire and the thrill of my soul. I pray that He too is the thriller of your soul as well.